The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

As the organization Web site explains,

"Just over 80 years and six downtown locations later, the mission of The Art Institute to train students for creative careers remains the same. Otherwise, the resemblance is minimal for the flagship school of The Art Institutes system of schools."

Through the decades the Art Institute of Pittsburgh grew and expanded its facilities and programs. In keeping up with changing technology the institute has continued to be a key part of the design and art fields. Students at the institute have access to nearly 20 computer labs, as well as quality instruction in design and composition.

Traditionally, the institute has been recognized for its excellent two-year associate degree programs. At the start of this new century the Art Institute of Pittsburgh became

"the first post-secondary career school to obtain bachelor's degree-granting status from the Pennsylvania State Department of Education."

This has added to the experience of study at the institute, allowing students to experience college life.

Ten years ago the institute relocated into a "renovated historic landmark building" at 420 Boulevard of the Allies. This enlarged the working space for the school, including more classroom and computer facilities. General categories of instruction include design, media, fashions and cuisine.

Degree programs include:

  • advertising
  • entertainment design
  • graphic design
  • industrial design
  • interior design
  • fashion & retail management
  • fashion design
  • baking & pastry
  • culinary arts
  • culinary management
  • hotel & restaurant management



Media Arts and Photography

Of course, the programs in photography, digital film-making, video production and other media studies are of particular interest to a large number of students.

Students can pursue a course in photography under the Media Arts banner, getting a degree that may open doors in the field of professional photography.

At the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the photography program emphasizes creativity and imagination, as well as "an eye for color and attention to detail." Courses in the photography-degree program include:

  • photojournalism
  • lighting
  • color management
  • and many other specific training areas


A portfolio of work is prepared prior to conferring of the degree. This prepares students for presentation to potential employers.

The bachelor-level degree takes students a step further toward working in an ever-changing industry. Degree students learn all the technical and creative skills and techniques they need to succeed.

Course developers and instructors focus on capturing moments with quality photos, all in a hands-on environment. On-location photography is taught, as is studio technique.

The bachelor-level program course includes composition, lighting, equipment use, darkroom skills, design and color. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh also offers an associate-level degree.

General Information

Dormitories for resident students are within walking distance of the main facility. The school has what many consider the most extensive technology facilities of any arts school in the United States.

Computer access is second to none, by most accounts. The institute has more than a thousand computers for media projects and specialized teaching situations. Facilities include a 3D rapid-prototyping lab, state-of-the-art video, sound and digital film-editing studios and some of the most complete shops and kitchens for programs to be found anywhere.

The Art Institute's Online Division

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh launched an Online Division in 2000. In the few years that this opportunity has been available, the institute has become a leader in online education in the creative arts. Degree and diploma programs are offered that provide:

"An online experience designed around the demands of your busy lifestyle."

Online study is available in areas such as drawing, photo history, culinary management, communication design, web design and kitchen/bath design. The institute makes every effort to give online students a fulfilling experience, with the flexibility they need to fit their family and work schedule.

Virtual classrooms are accessible at any time of the day or night. Message boards make it possible to participate in group discussions as well as to view presentations. Technology allows the school to offer an online experience that is very close to the traditional, formal classroom.

For students who need financial assistance, the Art Institute's Online Division

"participates in federal and other financial aid programs. We are committed to helping you explore every option for making your education affordable. Regardless of your income or financial situation, you may qualify for financial aid programs that can help finance your education."

Contact Details

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
420 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 1-800-275-2470
Fax: 412-263-6667

Email: admissions-aip@aii.edu
Website: Media Arts Programs at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Online Division: Online Division